Boston Mayor Details Cultural Planning Initiative

From Malcolm Gay at The Boston Globe:

Making good on his campaign promise that the arts will play an integral role in Boston’s future, Walsh is set to announce Thursday the details of his long-anticipated cultural planning initiative, an 18-month survey that will send teams of volunteers deep into the city’s neighborhoods, interviewing thousands of individuals and groups to try to quantify and define what Bostonians want when it comes to the city’s cultural life. The sprawling conversation, known officially as “Boston Creates,” will stretch from Brighton to South Boston, Charlestown to Hyde Park, resulting in a plan that outlines Boston’s cultural priorities and identifies ways the government can enhance the city’s creative life, setting an agenda for the next decade and beyond.
Ford Foundation Launches Effort to Advance Arts, Culture, and Social Justice in the 21st Century

The Ford Foundation has announced a new effort centered on the roles art and culture play in illuminating and addressing urgent issues of equity, opportunity, and justice in the U.S. and around the globe. The yearlong exploration, The Art of Change, which builds on the foundation’s decades-long interest in advancing freedom of expression, reaffirms the central importance of creativity and cultural expression to healthy societies at a time when they are increasingly under threat.

Philanthropy’s Misguided Ideas for Fixing Ghetto Poverty

From Peter Dreier, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

One hundred years ago, progressive thinkers and activists who called for women’s suffrage, an end to lynching, the right of workers to form unions, health and safety standards for workplaces, the eight-hour workday, a federal minimum wage, a progressive income tax, old-age insurance, and government-subsidized healthcare were considered impractical idealists, utopian dreamers, or dangerous socialists. Fifty years ago, those who called for women’s equality, laws protecting the environment, civil rights for gays and lesbians, and greater numbers of black and Hispanic/Latino elected officials were also considered clueless or hopelessly radical. Now we take all these ideas for granted. The radical ideas of one generation have become the common sense of the next.
A Difficult Century

Michael Kaiser, from Huffington Post:

I recently read an article about the imminent retirement of a local government arts council executive. The article pointed out the many challenges that this executive faced over the past decade. It made me realize how difficult the 21st century has been for all of us who work in the arts.
Bloomberg Philanthropies To Invest $30 Million in Arts and Cultural Organizations

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the nationwide expansion of the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program, formerly known as the Arts Advancement Initiative. The invitation-only program seeks to strengthen nearly 300 small- and mid-sized organizations within six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Through the two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies will offer $30 million of unrestricted general operating support. It will also include arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement.

Where Chicago’s Mayoral Candidates Stand on the Arts

Accelerate Culture, an initiative launched last year by Arts Alliance Illinois, interviews the two candidates for Mayor on their arts policy leanings:

The 2015 Chicago mayoral runoff election is Tuesday, April 7. While the debates might be over, there’s no debating that the next mayor will shape the future of arts policy in Chicago. We asked Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to respond to ten questions on a range of issues including their views on the role of culture and the arts in our neighborhoods, schools, economic development, tourism, civic life, and beyond.
Duke Announces 2015 Class of Doris Duke Artists

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) today announced the 2015 class of Doris Duke Artists. Twenty performing artists will each receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as an investment in and celebration of their ongoing contributions to the fields of contemporary dance, theatre and jazz. With this year’s class, the foundation will have awarded $22 million among 80 Doris Duke Artists since the awards program’s inception.

Read the full announcement.

Cleveland’s Once-Fragile Arts Sector Shaping the Future

From Lee Chilcote, writing for Freshwater Cleveland:

The effort to strengthen Cleveland’s arts organizations and cultivate new audiences began in the 1990s. The Cleveland Foundation published an influential study that underscored the fragility of the city’s arts scene, and that helped set the stage. Two of the weaknesses that were identified were lack of professional development for arts managers and lack of public funding for the arts. In the late 1990s, the Cleveland Foundation and George Gund Foundation commissioned a strategic plan called the Northeast Ohio Arts and Culture Plan. An arts research, public policy and capacity building group called the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture was established to help carry it out.
Member Spotlight on Arizona Commission on the Arts

During the month of April, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The Commission is in its 50th year of supporting a statewide arts network that delivers grants and support to cultivate sustainable arts communities and promote statewide public access to arts and cultural activities in Arizona.